Instead of Instagram

James Walpole/ May 9, 2020

I want to share photos from my life with friends. More and more, though, I find it distasteful to share them on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook.

Aside from all their other problems, social networks have become much too bloated. As observer Jeffrey Tucker once noted (back at the time when Google+ was supposed to solve this) there is not much in terms of ways to share particular photos only with particular sets of friends.

Like many social media users over the years, I’ve accumulated a broad network of friends and followers with whom I don’t necessarily want to share every detail of my life. I enjoy having the freedom of privacy with most people.

But I do have close friends with whom I want to share, and the answer is a lower-tech one: I just maintain a group chat and share photos there. This tiny handful of people has – for the last couple of weeks at least – replaced Instagram for me.

I get to share exactly what I want to share with exactly whom I want to see it. I’m communicating with an audience that knows me and cares about me and assumes the best about me (rather than the worst). And I can be fairly sure that the sharing will be forgotten before too long – there’s not much “internet is forever” going on.

Most of us hav a need for social “show and tell” – to display our feathers and tell stories and strut around. But we probably overestimate how much we need to share to the social media platforms to do that. Five friends on an SMS chat can be better.

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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